Humpback hitchhikers - barnacles!
Humpback whales have a whole #ecosystem
that calls their body home and one of those inhabitants is a species known as the gooseneck barnacle (Conchoderma auritum). Surprisingly, this #barnacle
forms on top another species known to live almost exclusively on a #humpback,
aptly named the humpback whale barnacle (Coronula diadema). Look closely at the photo and you will see this hard shelled #crustacean
among the gooseneck barnacles, all attached firmly to the edge of the humpback’s flipper.
While the barnacles may look like a nuisance to the whale, they don’t actually cause any harm and since the barnacles eat the same thing as the #whale,
tiny plankton, they get a free meal every time the whale feeds - talk about convenient!
Thanks to Renee Beitzel for this awesome photo!